ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia


also known as: Aravah, Arava

Hebrew: “arabah”

Meaning: plain (in the sense of sterility); a desert

This name appears in only one verse of the King James Bible (KJV) (Joshua 18:18), but it appears many times in other versions. Except for Joshua 18:18 and Amos 6:14, the KJV always translates “arabah” as “plain.” In Amos 6:14, the KJV translates it as “wilderness.”

This name was especially associated with the generally sterile and hollow depression through which the Jordan flows from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea.

The Edomites (Edom/Idumea) lived here.

The Arabs later called it el-Ghor or Al-Ghor. But the Ghor is sometimes spoken of as extending 10 miles south of the Dead Sea, and from there to the Gulf of Akabah on the Red Sea it is called the Wadi el-Araba (Wady el-Arabah).

Wadi Araba—satellite view • Note the Timna Park which contains very ancient rock carvings and ancient copper mines associated with King Solomon’s time. It is likely that copper from this site was used by Solomon in building the first Temple of Jerusalem, particularly the huge bronze pillars named Boaz and Yakin. Copper is mentioned many times in the Bible.
“Timna: Israel's Ancient Copper Mines”—Timna Valley had an extensive network of sophisticated cooper mines and is now a major tourist attraction in Israel's south. (video length: 5 minutes)